What is chlorine gas and why is there an alert in 6 states, after the theft of a cylinder with this substance?

08/03/2021

The National Coordination of Civil Protection issued an alert for Queretaro, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, State of Mexico, Michoacan, and San Luis Potosi, after the theft of a chlorine gas cylinder. Through a statement released through its official Twitter account, the agency attached to the Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection (SSPC) referred that the object in question belongs to the State Water Commission of Queretaro (CEA).

The chlorine gas cylinder was stolen last Friday, March 5, from facilities located in Circuito Puertas del Sol, in the Puertas del Sol neighborhood in the municipality of Santiago de Queretaro. The tank is identified as UNO: 1017 Chlorine and has engraved number 3537467; it also has a capacity of 68 kilograms, is silver in color and, at the time of the theft, it was at 80% of its capacity.

What is chlorine gas and why is it dangerous for humans?

Civil Protection specified through its message that the substance is ashy yellow in color; it is catalogued as a poisonous and oxidizing material that can be absorbed by inhalation. Among the affectations derived from contact with chlorine gas is tearing of the eyes, although it is also corrosive to the skin and respiratory tract.

Inhalation may cause pulmonary edema and its rapid evaporation may cause burns in the area of contact; if that were not enough, its effects could be delayed and cause erosion of the teeth. The hazard alert should be heeded, as prolonged exposure to a chlorine gas cylinder without the necessary safety measures can result in death.

If the material is located, the recommendation of the Civil Protection authorities is NOT to handle it, to move away immediately, and to notify the emergency number 911 or 442 309 1430.

By Mexicanist, Source: Civil Protection Mexico